Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa speaks during the Freedom Summit, Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015, in Des Moines, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)
Steve King, Republican Congressman from Iowa, has a long history of saying things that are – in their best interpretations – horribly misguided in terms of views on race. That is me being generous. I could say what I really think about Steve King, but I would get in trouble (my mom sometimes reads my posts).
There is a quote in the New York Times today that really bothers me, as well as a good many others, and it stems from either total ignorance of history (again, being really generous there) or, more likely, a literal whitewashing of it.
At the same time, he said, he supports immigrants who enter the country legally and fully assimilate because what matters more than race is “the culture of America” based on values brought to the United States by whites from Europe.
“White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization — how did that language become offensive?” Mr. King said. “Why did I sit in classes teaching me about the merits of our history and our civilization?”
Um, Mr. King. With all due respect, there is boundless historical context behind the offensiveness of “white supremacy” and “white nationalism.”
If your first response here is to say “Nope, that’s the New York Times, Joe” then you’re missing the point. This isn’t some out of character thing for King. This is perfectly in line with other things he has said.
The GOP, of course, will take a hit for continuing to do nothing about King. They should get ridiculed for not pushing back on his remarks. Yeah, Paul Ryan and other Republicans released statements about King’s “other people’s babies” comment, but at no point has the party done anything to really punish a reliably Republican vote from one of the reddest districts in the country.
At the very least, someone in some leadership position should sit him down and explain that if he might want to stop saying words so often, especially around journalists.